Update: I’m feeling a little slow, eh, because I only just now noticed that it’s Amazing Stories that reviewed Parallel Prairies. Amazing Stories just reviewed my writing.
Darren Ridgley, one of the editor of Parallel Prairies, just tweeted a link to a new review of the anthology. It appears the reviewer enjoyed my little tale of dementia and alien visitation:
What makes this story fun to read is Vincent’s determination to protect Charlie from the agents. […] Amusing. With a tinge of sadness.R. Graeme Cameron
He also liked the anthology as a whole:
This anthology features a collection of stories ranging far wider than I anticipated. There is, perhaps, a Canada-wide tendency to underestimate Manitoba. […] Amazing what stories the contributors wrested from its soil. I confess this book exceeded my expectations. Well worth reading.R. Graeme Cameron
If you’d like a copy of Parallel Prairies, you can get it from McNally Robinson.
Saving this for later: Science Fiction Plot Generator (thanks Boing Boing for the link).
I really want to like the new The Twilight Zone. But I think the problem with an anthology series is that you’re always starting from square one. Every episode requires an all-new round of exposition, and exposition is hard to do well.
I really don’t like the “as you know, Sally” style of expository dialogue, where characters say things to each other that they both already know, for the benefit of the audience. It sticks out like the cliché sore thumb for me.
And there’s a lot of it in this first season of The Twilight Zone.
Maybe it’ll get better, but so far I’m on the sixth episode, and it’s not been living up to my hopes.
(On the plus side, the acting has been top-notch, across all the episodes. Even the child actors have mostly impressed me.)
Well, episode 6 — “Six Degrees of Freedom” — was definitely a brighter spot, at least for me. It had some issues, sure — technical quibbles on the level of CBC’s SF attempt Ascension, q.v., but at least they tried harder. (For instance, they gave a reason, however ludicrous, that the Mars ship would have artificial gravity.) The story, though, manage to capture me and hold me till its end, even with a bit of clunky “as you know, Katherine” bits of infodump.
Seems I can forgive a bit of clunky writing if the overall story is good enough.
Tor is reporting the sad news that Gene Wolfe has died.
The science fiction and fantasy community has lost a beloved icon. We are extremely sad to report that author and SFWA Grand Master Gene Wolfe passed away on April 14th at age 87.
I came to Mr. Wolfe’s writing late in life. My dad had a copy of Urth of the New Sun but, as a teenager, I could never get into it (not realizing, then, that it was essentially book 5 of a 4-volume series). I decided he was too highbrow, too highfalutin for my tastes.
Over the years, though, writers I very much enjoyed, writers whose opinions I respected, continued to tout the virtues of Wolfe. Neil Gaiman wrote on how to read Wolfe. Michael Swanwick was effusive with his praise. Wolfe, they insisted, is the writer’s writer.
So I checked the Wizard Knight duology out of my local library, and I found myself hooked. I chanced upon a copy of The Fifth Head of Cerberus at a local used bookstore, and was entranced. Later, I read The Book of the New Sun and its coda, Urth of the New Sun. This past summer I read, and loved, Pirate Freedom.
Gene Wolfe’s prose deserves to be read, and more, it begs to be re-read. Time, I think, for a re-read.
It is always a temptation to say that such feelings are indescribable, though they seldom are.Gene Wolfe, The Sword of the Lictor
Rest in peace.
Photo courtesy of Mark’s Postcards from Beloit, via a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs license.
The 2019 Hugo awards, to presented at WorldCon, recognize excellence in speculative fiction. Congratulations and good luck to all the finalists. I’ve only read a few of the works on the list, and I’m reading a couple more.
2019 Hugo and Retro Hugo award finalists announced
(The Retro Hugos this year are for works that would have been eligible 75 years ago, in 1944, but no WorldCon was held that year.)
“Hugo Award” and The Hugo Award Logo are service marks of the World Science Fiction Society, an unincorporated literary society.
Over on Tor.com, a discussion of Sir Terry Pratchett’s works, and how there’s more to them—far more—than just silly puns and goofy characters.
Terry Pratchett is best known for his incompetent wizards, dragon-wielding policemen, and anthropomorphic personifications who SPEAK LIKE THIS. And we love him for it. Once we’re done chuckling at Nanny Ogg’s not-so-subtle innuendos and the song about the knob on the end of the wizard’s staff, however, there’s so much more going on beneath the surface of a Pratchett novel.
Read the whole article; it’s worth it.
Since we were in Edmonton, I stocked up on
author fuel whiskey.
This one’s for the Canadians in the crowd. Writers, SF/F fans, helpful family members…
The Aurora Awards nominations have opened, and will be open till the 18th of May. My short story “Vincent and Charlie” is eligible for nomination, as are a myriad of other great stories both long and short. You can check out the eligibility lists at the Prix Aurora Awards site (you’ll need to be a member of the site to nominate anyone; it’s $10.00 Canadian for the year).
For those that haven’t read “Vincent and Charlie”, it’s available in the anthology Parallel Prairies, which is available from McNally Robinson, Indigo/Chapters/Coles, or (if you must) Amazon.
The story, in a nutshell, is about a retired farmer, afflicted with dementia, who happens across a crashed alien craft and rescues the pilot. This attracts the attention of some people whose attention you’d prefer not to attract.
Continue reading “Aurora Awards”
A fascinating article on the Planetary Society website: Whose Stars? Our heritage of Arabian astronomy:
Greco-Mesopotamian constellation figures bear Latin names. Their brightest stars are designated with letters of the Greek alphabet, yet most of them bear proper names that derive from Arabic. Even so, many of these star names are Arabic descriptions of Greek constellation figures, not Arabian ones.
Learn more about the Arabian star and constellation names, like, for instance, ath-Thuraya (aka the Pleiades) and her Hands (one amputated, one henna-dyed), Aldebaran (the Follower), al-Jawza’ and the Shi’ra sisters, and more.
It’s fascinating, and at least part of the reason I’m posting this is to bookmark the article for later re-reading. I think it might be a useful thing for a science-fiction writer to know about.
Header image: Pleiades (or I guess ath-Thuraya), taken by me in 2015.